Stephen Elliott: All eyes on Sunderland boss Lee Johnson and what he must do against Lincoln City

The next 10 days are hugely important for Lee Johnson and his management team.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 10:00 am
Aiden McGeady in action, picture by Martin Swinney.

It is, to use the boxing term, “championship rounds” and only the strongest will prevail.

Johnson needs to analyse the mentality and drive in every member of his squad over this next week or so.

He will have an idea of what team he wants to go with against Lincoln but looking at his line-ups over the last few weeks he still doesn’t know what his actual strongest team is.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He has to be sure with what personnel he goes with. He needs to get this right as there are no second chances.

I know I have mentioned him before but Chris Maguire has to be given a spot in the 18.

He has been left out on occasions this season but along with Aiden McGeady he is a player that has that bit more composure than most.

It may be a case where one chance is the difference and as he showed in the play-off game against Portsmouth two years ago he can deliver when the pressure is on.

Anything other than being in the Championship next season in my opinion will be a failure.

Thankfully, there is still a huge opportunity for this squad to make this a reality while going down as winners in the club’s history.

We are all crossing our fingers.

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best SAFC coverage.

This depth of coverage costs, to help us maintain the high-quality reporting you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our sports-only package here.